4 simple data steps to help small businesses grow

At any stage of a company’s growth, data and insights will come from a broad variety of sources. Some of it is ‘gifted’ to you, in the form of website analytics, customer databases, and sales figures to name a few. Some you can generate yourself – such as survey results and gap analyses. By understanding what to use and how to ‘farm’ it, the insights will help you create robust marketing actions that deliver results.

 So what 4 data steps can you take today?

  1. Know your customer

As a small business owner, you have a gut instinct for the type of customer you’ll attract. But as you grow, and so your customer database grows, do you still have a handle on who ‘they’ are? Gut feeling won’t do anymore – you need to analyse your database. This can be as simple as sorting them in Excel – use filters, pivot tables and charts to generate some numbers. Sex, age, location, and so on – this is all essential data. And knowing how your customers break down will help you create targeted marketing content to reach the right audience.

  1. Mind the gap!

OK – so now you know how they break down – who should be there, but is missing? This is the real gem. It’s knowing where the ‘gaps’ are that will deliver you ‘new new’ business, rather than referrals and organic growth. Profile your gaps and tailor your marketing strategy and content to ensure you reach this new audience.

  1. Standing out from the crowd isn’t always right

What key words describe your company or brand? Are you standing out from the competition? That’s great – but, don’t strive so far to be different that you can’t be found! If all your competition uses a common descriptor and they’re being found, then may be you need to take a similar stance. Sometimes different = too clever = hard to find! With a competitor analysis, looking at what they are saying and offering, you can ensure you’re standing out, not losing out.

  1. Create your own data

Creating a survey for clients and/or prospects is a great way to get feedback. But make sure you ask the questions in a way that delivers you valuable and valid responses. Too many open questions and you won’t be able to easily analyse the results. Too few tick-box options and you’re in danger of skewing the data to get what you want to hear, rather than what you should hear. Survey Monkey has lots of great tips to getting it right – so read up before you send out!

All of these are simple to implement and will give you robust data to ensure you’re reaching the right audience and growing your business. Contact me to talk specifics!

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